Last night I saw I Was A King(IWAK) for the fourth time. It is a fantastic band and they just keeps getting better. They still sound a bit like a Teenage Fanclub and Byrds mix, and that’s a good thing.
The New album is a fine mix of powerpop, guitar walls and great song writing. The guitars are “byrdsy” jangly and this time they flirt even more with the American side of indie-americana-pop. So you see, they’re kinda hard to describe. But they sound terrific!
IWAK has gotten together with two fantastic popmusic masters this time, Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub vocalist, yes him!) and Robyn Hitchcock (Power-pop godfather, The Soft Boys member and solo artist extraordinaire), what a dream-team!
When i first read about it I really couldn’t believe it, it’s a match made in heaven.
IWAK once wrote a fine song called “Norman Bleik” (on the second album, 2009), about one of their inspirations, just as Norman Blake once wrote a song about one of his own heroes Neil Young, called “Neil Jung”. Fun fact.
The result of this collaboration is IWAK’s best album, a fully realised record with great songs. It sounds so big and it is full of air, but it’s not pretentious at all. They sound more mature and more pop. The Playing is better than ever and the songwriting is spectacular, I realy love this album (You guessed that, eh?) and it is a quintessential pop album. A love letter to music, no less.
Best on the album: Frozen Disease, Superhero and Leave
Best live in Haugesund: Food Wheels and A Million Signs (with The One I love snippet as intro!)
I Was A King gave us a lesson in harmony induced pop music in Haugesund last night. I’ve never heard them better. Normally they’re not very talkative with the audience, but this night was a bit different. Anne Lise Frøkedal had several fammily members in the audience and the atmosphere was very friendly. Of course there were no sing-alongs, but it was a fun and relaxed interaction.
The music was great. It swept over us in waves. We could see the dense snow falling outside on the street through the windows beside the band, but the music was pure summer.
I Was A King is one of Norways best bands and you should check them out if you like Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, George Harrison and Byrds. And who doesn’t?
All pictures (except the album cover) by me with my little Nikon compact camera.
And by the way Palm Face did a good job as support act, very promising young band. Especially the two songs, Box of Beauty and Placebo Mind(?, the last song…) were fine.
When the truth gets uglier: